Qazvin was an ancient capital in the Persian Empire and nowadays is known as calligraphy capital of Iran. The most famous calligrapher was Mir Emad Qazvini. Dehkhoda who wrote the Persian dictionary (you can find his statue in Azadi Square. The most famous poet was Ubayd Zakani. Qazvin can perhaps be said to be a moderate city, in relation to its adherence to Islamic religious and cultural values. Many people, women in particular, dress modestly but are not limited to the a black hejab, and many women can be seen wearing thin, brightly coloured scarves to cover their hair. However, many women wear an enveloping headress, designed to completely cover all hair. It is advised to dress respectfully in this context, by all means express yourself through a nature of hejab materials and colours, but be mindful of social and religious values at play.
The nearest international airport is the Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) located in southern Tehran. The Mehrabad International Airport (MIA) is servicing the domestic flights. Arriving at either airports you can easily hire a taxi, get bus or train to take you to Qazvin. Make sure to hire a registered taxi and agree on payment before you actually set off. Your taxi fare to Qazvin from IKIA is around $ 20-25 and from MIA is around $ 15-20. You travel all the way through an straight highway taking your time at most 2 hours and in the meantime you may enjoy watching beautifull sightseeings and two giant plants of the country, Abeyek Cement and Shahid Rajaee Gass Power plants.
Qazvin is linked to Tehran and other major cities via a series of motorways, These are not usually too busy, though attempt to avoid times where workers are communting to and from work. Cars can be hired at Tehran International Airport. Taxi’s are usually the most easiest means of travelling to Qazvin by car. You have a choice of private taxi’s, or travelling via official taxi ranks. The main difference between the two is the state of the actual cars, however do not be put off by the sight of an elderly, slightly unconventioanl car, these are usually perfectly safe to travel in.
Buses depart very frequently from near Azadi square in Tehran. The fare is $1 for the old Mercedes buses and $2 for modern Volvo or similar buses (January 2010). Bus from Rasht (near Caspian Sea) to Tehran, passing Qazvin, run frequently. They drop you off outside the city on the ring road, but taxis already wait to bring you to town. Rasht – Qazvin is 180,000 Rials and takes about 3 hours. Impressive mountain view included.
Within approximately 2 hours from Tehran Railway Station. It’s difficult to get a ticket in Iran (09/2015), but riding on a train is comfortable and quite an experience. Other travellers are usually helpful. Price for the train ticket is 102,000 Rials (09/2015) one-way. Might be convenient to get to the airport by changing from train to taxi in Tehran.
- The Qajar era Caravanserai of Sa’d al-Saltaneh.
& Qajar Hamam
- The Grand Hotel – The first modern hotel built in Iran
- The first modern School built in Iran
- The first street built in Iran (Sepah)
- The first Municipality built in Iran
Qazvin contains three buildings built by Russians in the late 19th/early 20th century. Among these is the current Mayor’s office (former Ballet Hall), a water reservoir, and the Cantor church, where a Russian pilot is buried.
- The Russian Church of Qazvin.
Qazvin contains several archeological excavations dating back 9000 years. There are also 23 castles from the Ismaili Assassins nearby as well. And in the middle of the city lie the ruins of Meimoon Ghal’eh, one of several Sassanid edifices in the area.
Qazvin contains few buildings from the Safavid era, when it was capital of Persia. Perhaps the most famous of the surviving edifices is the Ali Qapu mansion, today a museum in central Qazvin.
There many mosques and religious schools
- The Ancient Jāmeh Mosque of Qazvīn’ (-Masjid-e-Jāmeh Atīq Qazvīn) is one of the oldest mosques in Iran, and is the grand, congregational mosque (Jāmeh) of Qazvīn city. The foundation of the mosque is laid on a Zoroastrian fire temple.
- Masjed Al-nabi (Soltani Mosque) with an area of 14000 metres, this mosque is one of the most glorious mosques of antiquity, built in the Safavieh’s monarchy era.
- Sanjideh Mosque– Another mosque of Qazvin dating back to pre-Islamic Iran; a former fire temple. Its present day form is attributed to the Seljukian era.
- Peighambarieh Shrine– Where four Jewish saints who foretold the coming of Christ, are buried.
- Sardar School– A mosque Made by two brothers Hossein Khan and Hassan Khan Sardar in 1815, as a fulfillment of their promise if they came back victorious from a battle against the Russians.
Other attractions near Qazvin are the tombs of two Saljuki era princes, Aboo Saeed Bijar, son of Sad, and Aboo Mansoor Iltai, son of Takin — located in two separate towers known as the Kharaghan twin towers. Constructed in 1067 CE, these were the first monuments in Islamic architecture to include a non-conic two-layered dome.
Wander in the bazaars.
Visiting Famous Parks
- Mashahir in Shahrdai Street
- Barajin (Fadak)
- Varchor Waterfall in Razjerd
Visit Qazvin Museum
Paragliding in blue sky flight site in Shafi Abad & Barajin Road, near to Fadak Park
Watching Iranian movies in Bahman Cinema in front of Melat Park
Swimming in Ovan Lake
Try to learn Persian, and use it while in Iran. Iranians are noted for their hospitality, and would greatly appreciate a tourist’s attempts to communicate via Persian. Qazvin is an historical city, try and broaden your historical knowldege by sampling the historical sites.
- Imam Khomeini International University,
- Qazvin Islamic Azad International University,
Take a visit to the bazaar of Qazvin. It is huge and you will be able to find all sorts on display. Jewellery in Iran is of high quality, and cheap by Western standards. The same can be said for electronical goods, which arrive in Iran via Japan, sometimes before the products can be bought in Europe and America.
Qazvin Shopping Complexes
City Star in Khayam street
Ferdosi in Ferdosi street
Iranian in Adl street
Food in Iran is a delicacy, and is made up of a whole range of Middle Eastern influences. Do eat chelo kebab in one of the many restaurants in Qazvin. This meal is pretty much a standard dish in Iran, however Qazvin does have its own regional variations on the dish. The famous Qazvinian food is called “Gheime Nesar” Try to sample as many different foods as possible while in Qazvin, the diversity of flavors and influences makes for delicious food. Restaurants are usually very hospitable, so asking for a variation in the dish, or asking for vegetarian options or about food allergies will not be a problem.
Have breakfast in the most famous Halim(Wheat pastry) cafe. Ask anyone Obeyd-e-Zakan near Bazar for dircetion. You may need to walk a bit to find it. But it worth having a very traditional Iranian Breakfast
Decent coffee shop with high-quality coffee and tea.The special tea served in this cafe is a must-try.Just ask the staff about the special tea.It’s not hard to find,just walk into the new bazaar and you’ll see it.
There are hotels scattered all over the city,it might not be very difficult for you to find a hotel in the Qazvin Area.
- Alborz – ~53 Euro = 2,000,000 Rials for a single room (Sept. 2015). Recommendable, clean and nice staff. Not so easy to spot from the street, located in 1st floor and above.
- Iran Hotel – 750,000 rials for a double room (October 2014). Is dated and in a noisy area but the staff are helpful. Ph. 0281-2228877
- Merkezi – 450,000 for double room (October 2014). Dirty rooms and awfully overpriced. Showers are okay. Near the bazaar.
- Inn Fard – 170,000 Rials for a person staying in a triple-bed dorm. No shower(You may ask the receptionist to open it.) and rooms are OK.Near New and Old bazaar,just 1 minute walking distance.
- Golshan Guest house – 250,000 Rials per person,no matter what type of room.Near New and Old bazaar,just 1 minute walking distance.
In need of help or advice, contact your national embassy, located in the capital city (Tehran) or you can find tourist information centers in Qazvin, and for Police you can call 110.
Iran is generally a safe country. It is advised however, that being an obvious tourist may attract some unwanted attention from interested Iranians, but do not be alrmed or react negatively. Standard advice to keep your bag secured and safe, and to leave personal and valuable belongings in your hotel room or hotel safe should be regarded. Iranians are generally a peaceful, hospitable people, but it is advised to act with caution when walk in the streets alone late at night or when approached by strangers to the same degree that you would in your native country.
Qazvin is located in a modest and mountainous region and the weather in summer is slightly cooler than Tehran. The temprature in summer does not go higher than 35 degrees. Hoever the best time is in the Spring and Fall, when the climate is warm and breezy.
Alamut can be easily reached from Qazvin, 1-2 hours each way through spectacular mountains. Alamut was the final stronghold of Hassan-i-Sabbah, leader of the assassin cult. It was built on top of a steep mountain with its own water supply and was thought impregnable until it was conquered by a coalition of the assassins’ enemies. Now you can climb the stairs to the interesting ruins and enjoy the amazing views.